This Is My America – Kim Johnson
Racism, judicial error, African Americans, race relations, prisoners, murder, family problems, young adult, fiction.
Tracy knows her father is innocent of a crime he didn’t commit. She writes letters to InnocenceX in hopes of getting their help in freeing her dad. She has less than a year before her father is executed. Tracy researches legal help as she wants to become a lawyer to fight for the rights of African Americans. When a teenage girl is found murdered and her brother is on the run, he is being framed for murder. She knows he is also innocent but being blamed because he was found near the scene of the crime along with his jacket. Tracy seeks out help and tries to bring home not only her father but brother as well.
This novel was not easy to read. As covering the topic of systematic racism is a very serious topic. Johnson describes a reality that all African American families face when someone in their family was innocent of a crime that they did not commit but they were framed and sentenced to jail. Systematic racism exists and it impacts more than the individual but thousands of African American families, young and old. These families struggle to gain a sense of safety and security in a land that is extremely racist and discriminates. Trying to find legal help is never easy just like Tracy when she was trying to get help from a foundation that is dedicated to helping free innocent African Americans. Nothing is free of cost and getting lawyers costs a lot of money and this is a cold truth and reality of the justice system. The justice system is geared to suppress African Americans from succeeding. It was built on racism and discrimination.
This novel, as it is fiction, does have a happy ending where her father and brother were freed from the investigations and trials to form the harsh stereotypes that were placed upon them. Many in real life don’t get the happy ending of having their family member come back home alive.
Here is a link of all those who were murdered in police brutality and in the hands of the police Know their names: Black people killed by the police in the US
Those are only some that appear on the news headlines.
Many others don’t.
Racism ends here.
Love is a Revolution – Renee Watson
Love, dating, self-acceptance, social action, Jamacian Americans, Harlem, New York, Young Adult, POC representation, fiction.
Nala goes to an open mic night with her cousin for her birthday. When one of the poet activists, Tye, goes on stage her attention is drawn to him. She makes herself more relatable to him by omitting lies and she struggles to keep them straight as she is falling more and more for Tye. Her relationship with her cousin isn’t easy either and Nala learns to stop and reflect. She needs to love herself first and in turn love Tye.
My heart vibed with what the author wanted to express through this narrative. Love can really change and inspire a person to love themselves better. I loved the place and this felt so real that I was there. I was witnessing everything happening with Nala and her interactions. Everyone needs to go pick up this book and read this novel. I can’t express how much I love this book. I did borrow this from the library and I am definitely going to buy the book. Then most likely read it again because it was so good. I finished this book in one day and it’s that type of book that can be read in one sitting because the pacing is perfect. I do not see enough hype but this book deserves so much more hype.
This Much is True – Tia Louise
Romance, single fathers, fiction.
Hope was drunk and passed out in the backseat of the chevy impala she technically sold. J.R. was in a need of a vehicle to get him to go see his son and confront his dad. He was locked away for two years for being caught up in a drug trade he was not involved with. He enlists his brother to come help prove his innocence in a crime he didn’t commit when he finds a stowaway in the backseat. Hope is flustered and angry with J.R. and tells him he has to take her back but unfortunately there is no turning back. J.R. picks up his brother, Scout, and the trio head off on a road trip. She learns more about J.R. and Scout and they learn about her and her family. J.R. slowly grows more in love with Hope and vice versa. They arrive at the destination. J.R.’s grandma and brother want him to marry Hope because she is a keeper and he doesn’t want to drag her into the mess. However, she proves resilient and proves that she wants to be with J.R. She helps him prove his innocence and save his life.
I really enjoyed reading this novel. I was simply amazed by the plot and the timing that the novel takes place in. The characters felt so alive and the interactions felt so genuine. I really enjoyed the different perspectives, one for Hope’s POV and J.R.’s POV. This was organized and there were a lot of emotions I felt through the characters. There were times I laughed and cried throughout this novel. I didn’t really want this novel to end but unfortunately there was an ending that was perfect. The author did an excellent job of storytelling and the perfect amount of romance with some steamy moments that were unexpected. Overall, I finally understand the hype for some romance novels and before I hardly never read them because of the premise that there is strictly only sex everywhere. This was not the case. There was a lot of substance and action happening that wasn’t sexual. I do recommend this novel because it’s a really good read.
One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
Mystery, detective, murder, high school, teens, young adult, fiction.
Five students are in detention for crimes they did not commit. Someone had placed phones into their backpacks and this one teacher who has a strong hatred for technology head searched them to find them. Each of them knows their innocent. An incident occurs in the parking lot causing the detention teacher to leave the room. One of them goes to drink their water when they experience a bad allergy reaction. The four other students scramble to try to save his life, but it is too late. The next day the four students are called into the principal’s office to tell them that the student died and now being investigated as a homicide. Each of them is a suspect. Who killed him?
This was alright. I felt this was too much like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale vibe. The writing was good and organized with the various perspectives. Half way through the first quarter of the book predicted who did the crime and was right in the end. There was not much of a mystery but its very tame. For a teenager who might be wanting to start reading mystery novels this might be exciting for sure.
So This is Love – Elizabeth Lim
Cinderella, twisted tales, young adult, fiction.
Cinderella had to flee before midnight because her dress and all the magic is what was able to allow her to be incognito for the most part and attend the ball. The prince, Charles, has a glass slipper and made it a royal decree that all eligible women should try on the glass slipper. When the grand duke is at Cinderella’s house, she is unable to get downstairs fast enough due to her stepmother locking her up because she found out the truth. After the visit from the grand duke, Lady Tremaine attempts to sell Cinderella off seas but Cinderella manages to escape. She meets with Louisa who works at the palace and her aunt is able to give Cinderella a job attending to the king’s sister who is just visiting a while. The King’s sister Genevieve closely bonds with Cinderella and the grand duke sees this and manipulates Cinderella into being a spy but Cinderella doesn’t want that. Genevieve talks her brother into holding another ball and Cinderella has another shot at her happy ending. There becomes a roadblock between her and the prince, it is the conspiracy that is going on inside the castle and Cinderella is in the middle of it.
I was interested in the synopsis and bought the novel on impulse. I don’t regret it. I love this novel and I really liked the little suspense of the novel. I prefer this version over the Disney movie because it made more sense and the plot was more intriguing. The writing was excellent, and I loved how the author kept true with some of the characters personalities such as Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters. However the grand duke being a bad guy was a twist I didn’t expect. I do recommend this novel for sure if one is a fan of Cinderella. She wasn’t my top favorite, but I liked her over some of the classic princesses. She wasn’t as annoying in other words.
My Girlfriend is a T-Rex Volume 1 – Story and Art by Sanzo
Romance, domestic, dinosaurs, drama, comedy, manga, fiction.
Yuuma meets Churio, a woman who is part human and part tyrannosaurus rex one day. She thinks he is afraid of her, but he isn’t. He is more scared of a measly small cat! They date and he tries to convince her to wear clothes and be more human. He takes care of her when she is sick and vice versa. They share adventures to surely remember for a long time.
I don’t typically read manga much, but this title caught my attention. I finished this manga and wished I could’ve found the second volume. There is a lot of comedy and romance as well as some sentimental scenes. I plan to hunt this down soon for sure because I would love to see if this relationship between Yuuma and Churio grow into something more serious. The artwork is beautiful and detailed. I recommend this as a start if one wishes to enter the world of manga because this is short and packs a lot in. There are many deep meanings behind the storyline that one can only unfold when they read the manga.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine –
Single women, social isolation,
intergenerational relations, friendship, computer technicians, Glasgow,
Ireland, psychological, contemporary women, fiction.
Eleanor Oliphant is a woman with an
interesting personality and ideology for life due to her past trauma involving
a psychotically mentally ill mother. Eleanor has a schedule that consists of
Monday through Friday working at her job. From Friday to Sunday, she drinks one
bottle of vodka throughout the weekend and doing her usual routine. Eleanor is
fine with this lifestyle. When unusual and unpolite behavior comes across her
way, she tries to understand life through her own ways of interpretation.
Raymond comes into her life and he changes her life. Raymond shows her that
life should be way better than just fine. Through life changing events, Eleanor
heals from past trauma and becomes herself the way she wants to be.
I did like this book in the beginning.
As I saw one of my college professors reading this novel and spoke about the
novel with deep interest. I personally saw Eleanor as antisocial, but I had
guessed due to past traumas. Overall, this book was fine and was short but with
a thick plot that should’ve and could’ve been expanded into a lengthier story.
I just did not like the climax, but the ending sufficed enough. Maybe in the
future I will reread this novel and give the novel another chance possibly.